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Hailed by the Boston Globe as “balmy-voiced” and for her “uniformly excellent” performances, mezzo-soprano Katherine Beck returns to Arizona Opera in the 2023-24 season to create the role of Elizabeth Lavenza in the world premiere of Gregg Kallor’s Frankenstein. She also joins the Saint Louis Symphony as Lola in Cavalleria rusticana with James Gaffigan conducting, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of La cenerentola. Last season, she had her first performances of Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Florentine Opera. Also in Rossini repertoire, she returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of Le comte Ory and joined Dallas Opera for Così fan tutte. She also partnered with Craig Terry in recital at her alma mater, the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, as well as at Florentine Opera.

In recent seasons, she made her first return to Arizona Opera for Dorabella in Così fan tutte and joined the
Opera Festival of Chicago as Isabella in Rossini’s rarely-performed L’inganno felice. She also joined the Metropolitan Opera for its production of Akhnaten.

Official biography

She made her debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago whilst a member of the Ryan Opera Center as Wellgunde in Twilight: Gods, a reimagining of the final chapter of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. She also joined Music Director Enrique Mazzola for songs of Donizetti and Verdi on the “Sole e Amore” digital recital program, sang excerpts of Marquise Melibea in Il viaggio a Reims on the Rising Stars Concert and of the title role of Carmen at “Sunday in the Park” at Millennium Park, and performed repertoire from classical to jazz to Broadway on concerts online and via WFMT.
She is also an alumna of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio of Arizona Opera and has previously sung Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Mary Johnson in Spears’ Fellow Travelers, Flora in La traviata, Madeleine Audebert in Puts’ Silent Night, and Catherine Wright in Hagen’s Shining Brow with the company. Ms. Beck made her Santa Fe Opera debut as Karolka in Jenufa while an Apprentice Artist and sang her first performances of Sesto in Giulio Cesare with Pittsburgh Festival Opera. She recently joined Opera Buffs in Los Angeles as Angelina in La cenerentola following earlier performances of Mercedes in Carmen. With Opera Colorado, she created the role of Lisette in Cohen’s Steal a Pencil for Me and sang previous performances of La cenerentola in student performances.

She is a two-time Vocal Arts Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, at which she was able to indulge her love for art song and chamber music. In the summer of 2018, she premiered Gandolfi’s In America, composed in commemoration of Bernstein’s Songfest, with orchestra. Also there, she sang a recital of French chanson with Roger Vignoles and a concert celebrating humor in music with Stephanie Blythe and Dr. Alan Smith. Elsewhere on the concert stage, she has sung excerpts of La clemenza di Tito with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra on its Mozart and Schubert Chamber Festival, Mozart’s Requiem at Scripps College, Mendelssohn’s Elijah at Williams College, and Handel’s Messiah for many consecutive years in Arlington, Vermont. She has also been featured at the oldest church in New England in her hometown of Bennington, Vermont, singing Bach’s Geist und Seele wird verwirret, BWV 35 and Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, BWV 170. In the crossover realm, she joined the Boston Pops both at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood for the premiere of Sondheim and Lapine’s Sondheim on Sondheim.

Ms. Beck is a winner of the prestigious George London Foundation Award, the LuminArts Vocal Fellowship in Chicago, and second place in the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition. She is also a former semi-finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She earned her Master of Music degree from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, at which she sang Béatrice in Béatrice et Bénédict and Sesto in La clemenza di Tito, and her Bachelor of Music degree from the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam.

"The performance was superbly sung, particularly by mezzo-soprano Katie Beck as Sesto. Beck. . .was terrific, performing with all the fervent valor required of the betrayed patrician. She possesses a Frederica von Stade-like shimmer to her voice that is balanced with solid technique and florid musicality. All in all, it was a first-class interpretation."


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